Israel-Hamas: AFP responds to accusations of “anti-Semitism”

MP Meyer Habib (related to LR) tweeted that “anti-Semitism” could “sometimes” be found at AFP. Fabrice Fries, boss of the press agency, ordered him to delete his statement under penalty of possible legal action.

MP Meyer Habib (related to LR), whose constituency for French people living abroad covers Israel and who affirmed that
“anti-Semitism” could “sometimes” be found at Agence France-Presse, was ordered on Thursday November 9 by the AFP to withdraw its comments “as serious as they are unjustified”.

“Anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel and the apology for terrorism unfortunately sometimes nestled in the heart of the AFP, the public service and now even within French diplomacy,” wrote Tuesday, November 7, the French MP from the stranger on X (formerly Twitter). He was commenting on a video showing a former contractual employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tearing down the portrait of Israeli hostages in Gaza in a street in Paris.

The CEO of the AFP, Fabrice Fries, ordered the MP by letter on Thursday, November 9 to “immediately delete any reference to the AFP” in his message and to “refrain from making such serious and unjustified comments.” “, failing which the agency reserves the right to “initiate all legal remedies”.

“The balanced and non-partisan presentation of current events ensured in complete independence being at the heart of the AFP’s mission, the Agency can only accept such public accusations which are totally unjustified and likely to fuel a controversy harmful to the understanding of the conflict and to arouse passionate reactions with risks of violence, are expressed with all the more reason by an elected official of the Republic,” he supports.

“Immense responsibility”

Meyer Habib also affirmed on Saturday November 4 on CNews that “all the media have an immense responsibility today” in the rise of tensions in France. “I accuse the public service today, at least part of the public service, of adding fuel to the fire. When we have the AFP refusing to call barbarians terrorists, where are we going? These people are responsible because they are adding fuel to the fire,” he argued.

According to its editorial charter, the AFP, which is not part of the public service, must not itself qualify any movement, group or individual as terrorist. She only does this by citing a source and using quotation marks. Regarding Hamas, the AFP specifies in its production that it is qualified as terrorist “in particular by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Israel”.

Meyer Habib, a Franco-Israeli close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has already denounced in the past “the pro-Palestinian software of the Quai d’Orsay”. He also regularly castigates “the new anti-Semitism” of “left-wing Islamism”, which according to him fuels a “hatred of Jews and Israel”.

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